Maddie Haddix ‘22
Finding Your Path via International Studies
When I first entered Boston College, I started as a prospective film major wanting to make movies after graduation. I wanted to make the types of movies that would evoke sympathy and compassion in people who saw them; I wanted to share stories, essentially. After living abroad during high school and witnessing firsthand the very real, and human, effects of the Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Crisis, I was so confident that if only people know what others went through, and truly understood each other, that a lot in the world could be solved, and that the perfect way to show others our stories was through film.
As a current senior, sans film major, I definitely think I’ve changed in a number of ways since I began college. It’s not that I no longer care about film, it’s more so that I realized that while I so genuinely liked it, I didn’t love it enough to scrape by as a PA for years on end. I loved sitting at Coolidge Corner Cinema watching Spike Lee films, and I still do. But, I didn’t love it enough to make a whole career out of it. Some people do—and they make phenomenal movies—but I just discovered I wasn’t one of those people. And that’s perfectly okay. It took me a while to finally find "my thing" in college, but once I did, it was so clear to me that I kind of belonged in the political economics world.
As a Peer Advisor and even just as an upperclassman I’ve had a decent number of conversations recently with new freshman. They’ve really been lovely, and one thing I want to impart (and one thing that came up in nearly every conversation) is that it’s okay to change your mind. College is for trying new things. Maybe you really, really know what you want to do, and you’ve known since you were five. That’s perfectly fine, and more power to you. But just because all your roommates have their five- and ten-year plans all set in stone, doesn’t mean you have to do so as well. I guarantee that a very significant number, if not all, of those plans will change. This time in your life is for trying new things and for finding your passions. In fact, changing your plans upon the entrance of new information is something that, I think, should actually be celebrated.
Additionally, as the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I wanted to make movies to help people. I can still very much help people from my subject matter area now. I could have changed my course of study to almost anything and still been able to use it to help others. It’s not that that desire went away, but rather that the method of accomplishing it has changed. As I was going through this, one of the best things I did for myself was recognize the commonality of my interests and apply to be an IS major. Because of the diversity of IS concentration options, I was able to switch from taking IS-centric film and communications classes to IS-centric political science and economics classes relatively easily and had very few issues as I was switching concentrations. That’s one of the reasons why IS is so great, and also one of the reasons why I’d really encourage underclassmen to consider the major, as the interdisciplinary aspect really gives you both a chance to explore your broader interests and a chance to narrow down a bit more on your main interest. As application season approaches, don’t hesitate to talk over your questions with a Peer Advisor, we’d love to talk!
Maddie Haddix ’22